Morning Headlines - Friday, Oct 14, 2022

U.S. & World and Wisconsin trending headlines, and today's daily meme.

Morning Headlines - Friday, Oct 14, 2022

U.S. and World Headlines

Five Takeaways From Likely Last Jan. 6 Hearing

The House committee investigating the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, held what may be its final public hearing on Thursday, seeking to put a fine point on its argument that the violence that day was fueled by former President Trump’s words and actions.

The hearing featured no live witnesses, but did include a plethora of new evidence from recent depositions, video footage and material turned over by the Secret Service. It culminated in the committee voting to subpoena Trump, a move that the former president will assuredly resist.

Here are five takeaways.

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The Pro-Life Movement Charts A New Path

For a half-century, anti-abortion protestors have traveled from across the country to Washington for the March for Life, an annual demonstration that starts on the National Mall and traditionally ends at the steps of the United States Supreme Court.

Now, for the first time in 50 years, the route will change. Organizers say they will start in the same place, but they won’t march to the high court. “It is more important that we finish at the U.S. Capitol,” Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life Defense and Education Fund, which has organized the march since 1974, told RealClearPolitics. Noting that in the wake of the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade, the question has been returned “to our elected officials and to the people through their elected officials.”

A symbolic change, the demonstration before Congress also reflects a necessary new strategy on the part of the anti-abortion movement. Mancini said the march will celebrate the reversal of Roe, “but also mark the start of a new leg on our journey towards building a culture of life.”

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How Democrats' Big Plans For Big Tech Shrunk To Tiny Steps

Democrats talked a big game about reining in Big Tech, but after nearly two years of controlling the agenda in Washington, they've got little to show for it.

Pledges to tackle data surveillance practices, harm to children's mental health and tech giants' power over wide swaths of the economy haven't yet translated into passing new laws, and the clock is running out.

The remaining days for legislative action are winding down for this Congress as midterm elections approach, with lawmakers already planning a packed schedule for the lame-duck session to fund the government and consider proposals on marriage equality and election reform.

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Parkland School Shooting: Why The Gunman Was Spared The Death Penalty

It was the deadliest mass shooting to reach a jury trial in the US, and on a day that was already high in emotion, many families left the court in Florida on Thursday confused and in tears.

Three of the 12 jurors voted to spare the gunman following the sentencing trial. Under Florida law, a unanimous decision is needed in order for someone to be put to death.

If a single juror disagrees, then the defendant is sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. This is what the 24-year-old Parkland gunman now faces.

Jury foreman Benjamin Thomas told CBS Miami that he did not vote for the life sentence and is "not happy with how [the sentencing] worked out".

"It really came down to a specific juror who believed [the gunman] was mentally ill," he said. "She didn't believe that because he's mentally ill he should get the death penalty."

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$400K Of Meth Found In 4 Pumpkins During Border Crossing Inspection

Federal agents on Tuesday discovered some $400,000 worth of liquid methamphetamine hidden in 136 condoms in four pumpkins while inspecting a vehicle at the southern border, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The agency said in a news release that CBP officers at the Eagle Pass International Bridge in Texas found the 44 pounds of narcotics while searching an SUV coming in from Mexico.

“Our frontline CBP officers have seen just about everything and this Tuesday was no exception as they encountered liquid methamphetamine hidden within pumpkins,” the acting port director at Eagle Pass, Elizabeth Garduno, said in a statement.

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Wisconsin Headlines

Attacks And Insults Fly At Final Wisconsin Senate Debate

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson and his Democratic challenger, Mandela Barnes, traded attacks and insults in a heated Senate debate Thursday night that focused heavily on crime, gun violence and economic issues.

The hourlong debate, held at Marquette University, was the second of two showdowns ahead of the Nov. 8 election.

At various points, both candidates responded to questions from the moderators by lobbing attacks at each other — sometimes wholly unrelated to the topic at hand. The tenor of the insults peaked toward the end of the evening, when Johnson was asked to talk about one thing he admired about his opponent.

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Darrell Brooks Trial: Milwaukee Dancing Granny Testifies

The trial continues for Darrell Brooks, the man accused of killing six people and injuring dozens more after driving an SUV through the Waukesha Christmas Parade in 2021.

Prosecutors allege Brooks, 40, hit and killed six people and injured scores of others with an SUV on Nov. 21 in the Milwaukee suburb of Waukesha. Police said he turned into the parade after fleeing a domestic disturbance, though officers were not pursuing him at the time.

The 76 charges he faces include six counts of first-degree intentional homicide. Each of those counts carries a mandatory life sentence. Brooks has been acting as his own attorney since he motioned to dismiss his attorneys and act as his own defense.

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Marathon County Woman Sentenced To 66 Months For Methamphetamine Distribution

Sarah Waggoner, 41, Birnamwood, Wisconsin was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge William M. Conley to 66 months in federal prison for distributing 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. This prison term will be followed by 5 years of supervised release. Waggoner pleaded guilty to this charge on July 21, 2022.

In April 2021, law enforcement used a confidential informant to purchase methamphetamine from Waggoner. Law enforcement officers subsequently arranged for two additional controlled buys of methamphetamine from her, including one purchase of over 50 grams of methamphetamine. In September 2021, officers executed a search warrant at her residence, where they located over 1,000 grams of methamphetamine hidden throughout the property. Waggoner admitted in a statement to police to buying and selling multiple pounds of methamphetamine.

Waggoner is currently serving a term of imprisonment for Wisconsin convictions involving distribution of methamphetamine. The sentence in the federal case will be served concurrently with the remainder of the defendant’s state sentence.

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Wausau Man Sentenced To 72 Months For Methamphetamine Distribution

Lucas Ellwart, 28, Wausau, Wisconsin was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge William M. Conley to 72 months in federal prison for distributing 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. This prison term will be followed by 5 years of supervised release. Ellwart pleaded guilty to this charge on July 20, 2022.

While investigating Victor Pennington, law enforcement discovered Ellwart’s involvement in distributing methamphetamine. Through the course of the investigation, law enforcement used a confidential informant to purchase over 50 grams of methamphetamine from Ellwart on two occasions. He was arrested in September 2021 after a high-speed pursuit with law enforcement, during which the defendant threw over 800 grams of methamphetamine out of the window of a vehicle driven by Pennington.  Pennington pleaded guilty to a federal charge of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine on September 27, 2022. Pennington will be sentenced by Judge Conley on January 4, 2023.

Ellwart is currently serving a term of imprisonment for Wisconsin convictions involving possession and delivery of methamphetamine. The sentence in the federal case will be served concurrently with the remainder of the defendant’s state sentence.

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Boosters For Covid-19 Are Seeing A Slow Uptake In Wisconsin, Nationwide

A nationwide survey released at the end of September found that many Americans don’t know that they can get an updated type of COVID-19 booster vaccine to protect against the most widespread and most contagious strains of the virus.

Dr. Ben Weston, chief health policy advisor for Milwaukee County, said that lack of knowledge – as well as another surge of coronavirus infections in Europe – is concerning.

"The recent survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation showed that more than half of adults in the U.S. have heard little to nothing about the new bivalent booster vaccines," said Weston, who added that he's encountered this troubling information gap first-hand in conversations "with community members and at the bedside with patients in the emergency department."

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Last Update: Oct 14, 2022 6:44 am CDT

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